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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  July 28, 2011 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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impressed by david walker and the senator. >> mark warner. >> great. >> willie, what did you learn? >> the overwhelming response from viewers is call me when this is over. they're starting to get lost. >> i know. enough. all right. willie, "way too early" what time is it. >> "morning joe." stick around for "the daily rundown" with chuck todd. >> if you at first don't succeed try try again. speaker john boehner gets ready to bring his revised debt limit bill to the floor for a vote. but is it dead on arrival in the senate? with the august 2nd deadline looming there's only one hard part about playing chicken, knowing when to swerve. who's it going to be? and four straight days of market losses. the world is watching. are they losing faith that a deal can happen? good morning from washington, it's thursday, july 28th, 2011. i'm chuck todd. this is day one of six this is
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it kind of days. the beginning, not the end of the end. let's get to my first reads of the morning, call it a jam session. house republicans want to jam the senate, democrats want to jam the house, we expect a house vote some time today on speaker boehner's revised debt limit bill. we expect it will pass. won't be easy but he's going to get the votes. speaker pushing hard to unit his conference and using colorful language to get his folks behind him. some republicans, though, are frustrated by the tea party's influence in this debate. in fact, here's john mccain. >> that is not fair. that is not fair to the american people to hold out and say we won't agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. it's unfair, bizzaro. and maybe some people who have only been in this body for six or seven months or so really
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believe that. >> well, lot of people responded to john mccain from the tea party world. sharron angle called herself a tea party hobbit. to the house vote. it is 217 republicans that he needs. it's pretty clear no democrats are going to help john boehner be the 217 vote. it looks like they believe they have the votes that they have figured out how to do it. yesterday republicans spent a long time not talking to democrats behind the scenes, but talking to conservative talk radio, conservative media outlets trying to rally the troops. we'll see if it works. going to be a long afternoon. vote should be some time early evening. so what happens in the senate? majority leader harry reid has two options, bring up boehner's bill to show it can't pass, then go with his own bill. there's also option two, if reid is able to work a deal with mitch mcconnell he could bring an amended version of boehner's bill to the floor. we'll see what happens there.
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all 51 senate democrats and two independents who caucus with them signed a letter to speaker boehner wednesday that said they will not support his bill as it stands. what is it that they don't like? it's this part, the second part of deficit reduction which makes the debt ceiling vote six to nine months from now the trigger. democrats would like to create another type of trigger, one being floated, for instance, is to take sort of the gang of six way of doing things when it comes to this deficit reduction of tax reform and entitlement and make gang of six provision potentially some form of the trigger. either way, that's the holding point where democrats are trying to engage republicans to negotiate on this front, but right now, mcconnell and boehner are not negotiating. they're busy trying to get the boehner vote through. why? because they want leverage going into tomorrow. then there's the president. trying to shape the outcome through leader reid. will he be interested in signing
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a bill he said he wouldn't sign? who knows. with david plouffe senior adviser to the president in a few minutes to find out about that. on wednesday senator reid insisted over and over that boehner's plan wouldn't pass the senate but he held out hope that there would be a deal before next tuesday. >> today or tomorrow or friday, magic things can happen here in congress in a very short period of time. >> kelly o'donnell is nbc's capitol hill correspondent. what's surprising to me is apparently how little conversation actually is taking place behind the scenes between reid and mcconnell, reid and boehner, as much as we thought there would be say a week ago when we would have been at this point? >> well, it's one of the things that aides don't necessarily want to shine a big bright light on. what we have been told is that certainly the senior level staffers who, as you understand, are critically important in that, they do a lot of the heavy
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lifting in negotiations, so the top man for speaker boehner, top man for majority leader reid have had some communication. it kind of hit a wall when it seemed like there wasn't a heck of a lot left to say until the house sort of worked through this process that we think will come to a head today and kind of the wave, point where it seemed like boehner didn't have the votes then the rejiggering of the plan. aides tell me they think that the new number coming from the congressional budget office scoring the boehner plan, gives some credibility to members because those who were the loudest voices saying they want more cuts, according to senior aides can look at this and say they didn't just try to push it through and ignore the congressional budget office, they went back and tried to fix it and admitted they fell short the first time around. they're hoping that will lend some goodwill to those who are now being pushed and cajoled to come over to the speaker's side. as you know he has been tougher than normal behind the scenes. the speaker that is.
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who usually has a bit of a hand's off approach wanting members to decide on their own, now having to swing the hammer a bit because so much is riding on this. but there have been conversations between the offices, but not at the same pace we had seen. when we get through today's vote, then things can change again because the urgency to find some marriage between a house and senate bill, if that's what's left on the table, will have to happen quickly. when people step back politically they say there's more in common with these two plans than maybe you are hearing about if you're just tuned in to the political firing going between the two chambers. >> you know one thing kelly, i think feel we've learned through this process with the continuing resolution the more united one party gets against something or forefor something the more the other party gets united for something, against something. is reid benefiting from boehner sort of jamming this through, helping keep democrats united on the democratic side.
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>> there is a phenomenon when you feel your side is taking heat it brings people together. i've been having conversations with members in the hallways, senators and members of the house, there is a sense that it's important to have each moment sort of be judged on its own. when you're at that critical point when you have to sign the letter as senate democrats have done or make your case in the house republican conference, that they take that to the wall and when the moment passes, like one member said, boy when cut, cap and balance the flavor of the month for republicans when that seemed really dead, okay, exhale and now move forward to where we are now. so, those watching from the outside it may be hard to kind of slice this into those tiny increments but when you're in the middle of it here that's what it feels like. people want to make sure they are on board for their side making all the political points and then when that is exhausted they try to take another step. >> well, speaking of exhausted, i think we all are. >> me too. oh, goodness. >> we still have a ways to go.
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kelly o'donnell on capitol hill, going to be a long day. >> right there with you, chuck. >> all right. throughout this debate, wall street seemed confident washington would find some way to come up with a deal but that confidence is beginning to wane a little bit. the headline in the "wall street journal" may say it all, markets swoon on debt fear. john harwood of cnbc's chief washington correspondent. a guy that has a good job of trying to mix wall street and politics here for us. john, what have we learned from, you know, the ratings agencies? we're all testifying on capitol hill yesterday and i thought before the day started they would have been the focal point what they said. they actually didn't necessarily threaten a downgrade right away. what did we learn from the rating agencies? >> first of all there's more than one and moody's in a different place in standard & poor's, standard & poor's put out a threshold figure of $4 trillion in deficit reduction and suggested they would have to downgrade from aaa to aa if $4
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trillion wasn't reached. $4 trillion will not be reached. we know that. it's also how significant the consequences of that would be. some, maybe not catastrophic. the danger for republicans at this moment is the one that mitch mcconnell outlined a few weeks ago when talking about the backup plan. >> owning this economy. >> they would get ownership of a default if we default, they may be acquiring ownership of a downgrade if that's what happens. >> here's what the head of s&p said on capitol hill yesterday. see if we can decipher this language. >> changing a rating doesn't mean it will default. aaa means that it is a low probability -- very low probability of a default. that's all it means. if you change the ratings the risk levels have gone up. doesn't mean it is going to default. if we believe that they would change it to a default. status. >> we've learned it seems the
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white house is almost more concerned about a rating drop than anything else because it would raise the amount of -- it would raise the rating on the amount of money we have to pay on interest on our own debt. >> exactly. every american not only would the government increase the amount it would have to pay but every american would see the effects in higher interest rates. that is the consequence which is maybe lesser than a default which would be a more sort of falling off the cliff kind of response, but still significant. the white house wants to avoid it and so do republicans, so do john boehner and mitch mcconnell because they know some of that will backlash against them. >> game of chicken who will swerve on the last second. john harwood, i'll see you at the white house in a little bit. congress is working overtime as the deadline for default approaches, but all is quiet on the white house front these days. will president obama stand by the veto threat on two of the debt ceiling. we'll ask senior adviser david plouffe what's going on behind the scenes at the white house
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next. still to come we've been talking about the debt debate as a game of chicken. for 2012 hopefuls duck may be a more apt animal analogy. who's weighing in and staying out of the debate. first a look ahead at the president's schedule. it's fairly quiet one. who knows. we didn't hear from him yesterday. lots of rumors. never know at this point you have to think he will way in after boehner. you're watching "the daily rundown" on msnbc. i love that my daughter's part fish.
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what's good for this country, what's good for this economy is to stop the spending that barack obama's programs are requiring and to stop wrecking this economy. that's why the members understand this puts a check on
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obama, it doesn't allow him a blank check that reid bill would allow. that's why members are rallying around this plan. >> that was eric cantor talking up the bill which is likely to pass the house today. the big question mark, what does harry reid do once the bill reaches the senate. with me white house senior adviser david plouffe. nice to see you. let me start with any -- let me start with this. the president's veto threat when it comes to the boehner plan specific to the boehner plan, is it clear that the president is going to -- he wants to veto any process that doesn't raise this debt ceiling past 2012, is that really the veto threat here that is the line in the sand for the white house? >> well, let me explain why that's important, chuck. what the house republican plan would do is have this whole debt ceiling spectacle, three-ring circus the president talked about monday, repeated again a few months from now over the holidays. you know, the debt ceiling
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debate would ruin christmas. it makes no sense. it's harming our economy now. you would have this hanging over the country at one of the most economically important periods of our country around the holiday season. that makes no sense. what we need to do over the next few days -- listen, the reid plan has twice the deficit reduction as the boehner plan does. little differentiation in terms of the spending cuts. what we don't want to have is have this hanging over our economy. it's an irresponsible thing to do. but there's an easy compromise here. i think the boehner plan today is political theater. there's 53 democratic senators and a number of republican senators who have said they won't support it. the boehner plan will be dead on arrival once it passes out of the house in a partisan fashion and we really need to work on what's the compromise here. deficit reduction will be done in two stages. first stage largely in the spending cut area. there's going to be a second discussion? washington about things like entitlement reform and tax reform. the president's made clear where he stands on these things. i think the american people stand with him. that's a debate we're anxious to
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get to. >> i understand the argument against the two-step process on the debt ceiling. but will -- is this the line in the sand, the president will send back any bill that gets to his desk that has the debt ceiling as the trigger for the next -- for the next round of cuts? >> yeah. he's been very clear about that. the administration has been very clear about this. >> he will veto it, say guys send it back, no matter any time before august 2nd? >> chuck, it's never going to get to us first of all. the senate made that clear. we should stop talking about the boehner bill as if it's some recipe for a solution here. it's dead on arrival. so what you're going to have to do is reconcile what's in reid and boehner, a lot of things the president has talked about in terms of spending cuts he would be willing to accept. that's where the compromise is. listen, you see what this is doing to our economy. in the section before you were talking about the angst. not just on wall street but on main street. the country doesn't want to go through this again. we need to do the responsible thing here, reduce the deficit in a way that doesn't have this
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debt ceiling theater hanging over the entire united states economy. >> the republican leadership is making the argument that by the bill that they're supporting with boehner is a compromise in their minds and they say the president needs to compromise on this issue of the debt ceiling in one chunk versus two chunks and if you look at the history of the debt ceiling increases, there really is no rhyme or reason. you can say they're always really long, really large. quite a few times they've only been six to nine months at a time. >> well, they've also never been tied to dollar for dollar and all these phony contrived things they've come up with. the republican leaders, eric cantor, mitch mcconnell have been clear about this up until the last few days they didn't want a short-term debt ceiling extension either. this is about politics. any fair observers, you've covered this carefully, would see that the president has gone more than half way to meet the republicans on this debate, more than halfway, and listen the republicans this morning are talking ability this as take it or leave it.
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we're going dump this on the senate on the president. my way or the highway. this kind of approach the american people are sick and tired of it. and as the president said monday night, the american people voted for divided government, they did not vote for dysfunctional government and i think the republicans are really wearing the patience of the american people thin here. there's a lot of republicans in the senate who are interested in a fair compromise here. again, republican party we're agreeing to a lot of spending cuts, things they've said is very important to them. so at some point you just have to say yes here, put the american people first, there's a lot of talk in the house republican caucus about well, we have to stare down the president, you know, this is about the political battle, that's not what this is about. this should be about the american people and not lose sight about that in the next few days. >> there are a lot of democratic leaders on capitol hill and around the country who are quietly nervous that the president will give in on this, the argument is, he's, you know, at first the line in the sand was, don't link spending cuts to the debt ceiling vote. i want a clean debt ceiling
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vote. you moved on that and said fine we can do deficit reduction. and the president has moved and moved and you've made that argument, look at how much we've moved why won't the republicans move with us, part of the argument. there's a lot of democrat senators when is the president going to stop moving and they're convinced as are republicans, that at the end of the day, he'll cave and sign a two-step debt ceiling solution. >> no. listen, i think right now, you see a great amount of unity in the democratic party. every democratic senator and two independents, as i mentioned even a few republicans in the senate v said they're not going to support boehner. i don't think boehner may get one or two democratic votes may get none. we're unified here. this is the responsible thing to do. chuck, you know, if you go out on main street all across america today and ask them should we go through this debt ceiling exercise again during the holidays, people would think that's insanity. that's not what should be done here. and, we have a commitment to another process here down the
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line. a congressional committee will look at things like tax reform, like entitlement reform, and i think we're going to have a second stage of deficit reduction along the lines of what the president has talked about to the american people here for the last few months. so, what we need to do here is do the right thing for our economy, and find compromise and the compromise is clearly there. and do a down payment on deficit reduction which is very important and move on not just to the next stage of deficit reduction but economy and wage growth and the things that the american people deeply care about. >> a report this morning that says vice president biden and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell are negotiating sort of a compromise. mitch mcconnell's office is vehemently denying this report. what's with the discrepancy here? >> well, listen, the president, vice president, members of our administration, are in constant contact with leaders in both parties. i'm not going to describe the specificity of any of those conversations. i think once the political theater of the boehner thing is done tonight it's clear it isn't
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going anywhere until senate, dead on arrival, hopefully you will begin to see more progress and energy in terms of finding where the common ground is so we can move on. obviously people are getting more and more concerned rightly and this is completely a function of washington inaction and politics and dysfunction. this is a correctable problem, let's get this over with, and let's move on. >> are you concerned, you're chief strategist in many ways, while you've won the argument about what the plan should look like, that everybody's looking at washington and say you know what, the president's in charge of washington, why can't he run that place? >> well, i think what's important is the american people understand that the president is trying to lead in the way they like a president to lead, actually in a way they like all their leaders to behave, obviously have strong views and principles, but particular ply in a town divided politically you'll never move forward on anything unless you get bipartisan support. the president made that clear monday night. he's made that clear throughout
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this process. and i think what we have to focus on here is -- listen, you saw the enormous response from the american people. when the president in his speech monday night said if you feel we need compromise, feel we need balance let your members of congress know. capitol hill was flooded with calls and e-mails. that's what they want. i think the president has been clear all along, that he's got a view of deficit reduction. as i said i think that's going to happen in two stages. but what we need here is compromise so that the american economy is not held captive by political she nan begans. >> david plouffe senior adviser to president obama, thanks for coming on this morning. apologies for the construction but it's your fault. >> exactly. >> behind you. all right. thanks. are the markets running scared? we'll get a preview of wall street before the bell to see how they're reacting today. today's trivia question. what are the three most common surnames of individuals who have served in the united states house since the first congress in 1789? here's a hint.
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there's a tie for the third spot. so we'll accept two different answers. tweet me @chucktodd or @daily runedown. i'll have the answer and more coming up on "the daily rundown." [ male announcer ] the network -- a network of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. he was all like "oh no, i cannot do investing." next thing you know he's got a stunning portfolio. shhhh, you're welcome. [ male announcer ] e-trade. investing unleashed.
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just a few minutes before the opening bell. what does that mean? the quick update with becky. what you got. >> chuck, we have been saying all along markets didn't care about any of this. obviously yesterday you saw that the markets are concerned that we're getting closer to a deadline. dow down about 200 points yesterday but this morning, it looks like the markets are on a wait and see mission right now. wait and see what happens when that vote comes to the floor of the house. now, some people are worried we're going to see a re-do of what happened with t.a.r.p. if that gets voted down and could cause a lot of concerns. congress is being smarter, sounds like they're not going to be holding that vote during the middle of the market trading day. any reaction from this comes
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after 5:00. something put off until tomorrow morning. looks like the futures have been bouncing around the flat line, a little higher, little lower. my guess nobody wants to make a bet before they see what happens to the house plan. they see a road map for how you can get something from the house, something from the senate, something that would eventually pass before that deadline and that is certainly what the market is hoping will happen. >> well, and it's more tomorrow, i guess, that we're going to be finding out how markets react to this. >> unless we start to hear some of the headlines out of washington. i will it tell you the market is a little more nervous and it will listen to anything that's coming out from either side and probably react to it. >> of course they will. that's what day traders do sometimes, right? becky quick at cnbc's world headquarters thanks very much. coming up, crackin' the whip. what's it like inside the halls of congress as the leadership on both sides of the aisles try to line up votes for and against. we'll talk to two guys who know the arm twisting process and can explain what happens when one of them cries aunt or uncle.
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former congressman martin frost and tom davis will be here. plus, i'll take game show host turned crime fighters for a thousand, alex. we'll tell you what happens when a burglar messes with the trebek. this is "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. i have astigmatism.
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the inspiration hits you. even deposit checks right from your phone. just take a picture, hit deposit and you're done. open an account today and put schwab mobile to work for you. just past the bottom of the hour. right now a few other headlines making news today. rupert murdoch's news corp. facing criticism from former "news of the world" who have been offered places in dubai. the staff promised new jobs by rebekah brooks. james murdoch is expected to survive as chairman of bskyb when the board meets for president if irs time since the hacking scandal story went worldwide. and in san francisco, jeopardy host alex trebek snapped his achilles tendon chasing after a burglar from his hotel room yesterday.
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the 71-year-old which by the way shocked everybody that he's in his 70s, trebek reportedly pursued a 56-year-old woman named lucinda miers from his room after she stole a bracelet, cash, and other items. alex trebek, the new dick clark. he is ageless. today i would like to take a minute to remember a longtime friend of many people here in washington and that is former democratic party chairman charles manatt. >> with this the 39th convention of the democratic party of the united states, will you please come to order. >> 1981 chuck took over a demother-in-lawized democratic -- demoralized democratic party, fresh off reagan's assent to the white house, led them through reagan's presidency and credited with modernizing the democratic party including building the first democratic national headquarters here in washington, d.c. he was national cochair of bill clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and served as
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ambassador to the dominican republic. ma manatt born in chicago, grew up in iowa, moved to los angeles where he founded manatt phelps and phillips. one of the largest law firm in the country. we found something chuck said at the 84 democratic convention that leaders in both parties might need to hear today. they are as true for the country now as for the party he led back then. >> unity is so often the anguishing tasks and swallowing our own pride over frictions between us. in order to have the pride of power, the power of all of us working together. >> of course he was speaking to a splintered democratic party at that time. but at this point we are like a splintered country. his friends and family lay him to rest this afternoon in his hometown of iowa. charles taylor manatt was 75. as the house prepares to vote on the speaker's debt
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ceiling bill, the math is on john boehner's side, but barely. there are 240 republicans and 193 democrats in the house. the magic number to get boehner's bill passed is 217. we have two vacancies right now. the latest vote count suggests 22 republicans are opposed to the bill or leaning towards a no vote. if that number holds and republicans get no help from democrats the boehner bill would pass by a razor thin margin of 218 to 214. republicans missed more than one no vote they have no vote it forward and if democrats fail to keep their party in line republicans could be all but assured victory in the house and claim a bipartisan bill. how does all this vote wrangling work? who better to go to than our experts in this field, former texas democratic congress frost and former republican congressman from virginia. you were in the democratic leadership in a long time in the '90s.
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it is as hard what is harder, whipping for a yes vote or doing what your party is doing today, making sure they keep everybody in line for the nos? >> i think what's going on today, probably is a little bit easier. what they do, what steny hoyer would do and others i'm sure are doing, is tell democrats, make them put 217 on the board. they get 217 they need 217, not 218, a couple vacancies, 217 a couple conservative democrats who will be released say it's okay. >> you think the reason the democrats have this confidence they tell everybody together hoyer got the commitment from dan borns, mike ross, say i won't be 217 for boehner. >> i think that's probably what happened. i think that's a reasonable thing to ask. that was often asked of democrats. i remember during the reagan presidency. >> lot of blue dog. >> were asked don't be the one to pull it over. >> the bull wivells back then. tom davis, the other side of this, the getting to yes for boehner on this, all this drama, how many of these republicans on
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the fence on this, are sitting there going, yeah okay, i'm going to get stuck voting for this, but what if it does die in the senate, how much of that do you think is a calculation for some of these guys nervous about voting for this? >> that's part of it. also, if you cut an agreement with the senate, it's going to -- and you voted for this what do you do when it comes back? you're on the hook at that point. you've crossed the rubycon. >> and own it. >> exactly. that's a problem. there are a lot of soft yeses and undecided only if you need me. i talked to a number of members last night, some were still hard nosed. >> they will be 217 what they're saying about it? >> say exactly. we we'll see where this works out. leadership is confident if we don't get our way republicans in the senate won't hold solid. >> you were saying it earlier, that is the speakership on the line for him, if he didn't get this would that prove he can't rule this body? >> i think he's toast if he loses this vote.
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>> they won't bring this up unless -- >> i was going to find a way to get out of this. >> this will harden the republican stance to kill reid in the senate if they lose this, republicans in the senate, have other options. >> and this is what it seems, i feel like this is how we're on this collision course. because it is -- they are preaching party unity in the house republicans and, in fact, using a very odd movie clip to rally folks around. going to be some people going to get hurt. >> used "braveheart". >> i get it. everybody's a football coach at the end of the day when trying to get their teams united. only uniting the democrats hardening their stance even though they've been the weaker spine. >> the problem is, tom and i were talking about this before the show, this is one of those rare situations, if this thing all goes down and if there really is a default, this is one of those unusual situations where the public could throw everybody out of office. i've never believed that as far as congress is concerned. i never have believed all incumbent goss down.
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if we default, lot of people go down. both parties. >> this actually, though, we came close to having problems like this when the parties were just all up in the air, brought up 78 probably the closest we had to where everybody was in trouble. people were just angry at the entire establishment. we haven't had -- >> maybe '92 arguably. >> we didn't -- >> they lost -- [ inaudible ]. >> '92 almost that environment. that's the environment i hear people talking about boy, this dysfunction could lead to a lot of -- >> primaries. members are concerned about their primaries not their generals. >> that's been the political calculus maybe the white house misread, right? in that they thought they were all talking to the same group of voters here and they're not, same group of swing voters. republicans talking to swing primary voters, democrats talking to independents. >> particularly true on the independent side. the tea party is organized. they'll take some of these people out if they vote wrong and you some of the folks who will run for statewide office and worried about what's going to happen when they run for
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governor or run for senator on the republican side. >> do you buy this idea the president may lose this battle but win the war? >> i think at the end of the day it's going to be where is the economy a year from now. i think this is going to be a blip next year if they can get through it. >> they have to do something. something. there has to be a result that comes out of this by the 2nd because if there's no result -- >> it's clear they're going to do something. >> it's not 100% clear. >> it's three days in the senate. three day ordeal in the senate. >> there has to be a result. >> there you go. you guys will move markets if you're not careful. martin and tom, thank you both. for more behind the scenes on the hill, follow nbc news producers and crews inside congress and join the conversation with the hashtag pound insidecongress. don't miss the brian williams dateline special at 7:00 eastern on nbc. somehow we timed all this. a total luck. unbelievable access we got to a day in the life in the u.s. congress on a day like yesterday. who's up and down in the debt
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debate? it's changing almost hourly. presidential hopeful mitt romney took a pass on the boehner bill. we'll break it down with a first rate panel. the white house soup of the day, caldillo of brisket. i think we've had this one other time. i love brisket. a food we don't eat enough. make it a soup too. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all.
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our daily flashback on this day in 1868 that the 14th amendment officially became part of the u.s. constitution. the amendment guarantees african-americans citizenship and all its privileges. but it's a little known section of the 14th amendment that's getting all the attention these days. it's the section that states, quote, the va lid itty of the public debt shall not be questioned. some democrats, of course, are calling for president obama to invoke this clause and end the current crisis raising the debt ceiling himself. white house maintains invoking the 14th amendment is not an option, that they've talked to
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their lawyers and it can't happen. okay. president obama might not be the only 2012 candidate who would prefer to avoid another debt ceiling vote until after the election. republican contenders are split on the boehner bill and what it might mean for their chances of winning the white house. let's bring in our panel today, mattea gold from "the los angeles times," major garret, the congressional correspondent for the national journal, like the ohio state university. and none other than one of my seat mates, helene cooper a white house reporter for "the new york times." welcome all of you. >> great to be with you. >> let's start with the debt debate. you were bragging about the five keys. i'm going to put you on the spot. five keys to what's going on in the last six days. >> quickly boehner passes today, dies in the senate either the reid bill dies in the senate origins a process of rewriting it. the five keys that appear visible to me, i'm not saying these are the five keys, balanced budget amendment, lower the defense cuts in the reid bill, add in language in the
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super committee for few future sef dis reduction, something reid agreed to but not stipulated in public, sharpen the discretionary numbers, something in between where boehner and reid is and boehner count reid's $70 billion in mandatory savings that don't touch social security medicare and medicaid. those things can be done. i'm told they're on the table. >> that's where we get the debt ceiling passed 2012. >> because the irreducible min munl for president obama and the senate democrats you to get it to 2013. house republicans do not have the votes or the wherewithal to stop that from happening. things have to be given to them tangible and real. protection on taxes, defense, mandatory potential keys that deal. >> watching the president the last couple days, he's not been around. after the monday night, you know, i've had some people -- >> hail mary pass monday night. >> and had some strong supporters of the president go, i guess when all this fails you ask the country for help. that it was little more
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desperate in hindsight than maybe it appeared on that night. you called it a hail mary. that's rougher. >> i think in a lot of ways it was. you're at the white house every day. you hear what they're saying and they're very -- they would very much argue with your initial -- >> this is not -- no. >> the president is very much involved on the phone every day, talking to congressional leaders, he's reaching out to boehner and all of that and he really is the calculation for president obama is a lot about as you know 2012 and appearing when this is -- when all of this is said and done to appearing as the one who was the moderate and who was willing to compromise. but it's a really, really tough sell for him right now and you talk to people at without and they're sitting there and all of their hopes seem to be in the senate being able to modify, you know, the boehner bill dying in the senate. >> dies or modifies. >> and then the senate passes their bill and it goes back to the house then and then they're hoping that the house leadership
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will bend and the tea party. >> that's exactly. >> the deal that looks more attractive than the boehner bill. >> to some of them. >> mattea, yesterday seemed to be about republicans, not figuring out a back channel conversation with democrats but trying to keep republicans in line. i want to play another bite from john mccain where he blasted the tea party and then talk about it at the other side. >> some members are believing that we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution in this body with its present representation and that is foolish. that is worse than foolish. that is deceiving. many of our constituents. >> boehner wasn't as tough but he did say you have to get your a in line which he said he did this because it is time to do what is doable. this is what is doable from a republican point of view but what happens when this thing gets thrown back at them? >> right. that's the big question. this whole debate is highlighted
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the civil war going on right now. you have mccain on the floor talking about hobbits and his party. that's pretty strong language. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i imagine not. i think it's a real test to see how well the republican caucus holds together. and also, going into 2012, how the dividing lines will shape up. i mean are the establishment republicans going to be fiercely on the other side of the tea party folks, find some common ground through all of this. >> mattea, helene, hold on, we'll talk about one republican who won't take a position on this fight that actually it's astounding to me he has not. trivia time. we asked what are the three most common surnames of individuals to have served in the u.s. house since it was created in the first congress in 1789. historically the most congressional surname is smith, you got that, 114 different smiths in congress, the next most common surname is johnson and then after that a tie, davis and wilson. sorry, folks no joneses in there in the top three. 65 u.s. house members named
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johnson and 54 each for davis and wilson. there's one to grow on. we'll be right back. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] this is the network. a network of possibilities. excuse me? my grandfather was born in this village. [ automated voice speaks foreign language ] [ male announcer ] in here, everyone speaks the same language. ♪ in here, forklifts drive themselves. no, he doesn't have it. yeah, we'll look on that. [ male announcer ] in here, friends leave you messages written in the air. that's it right there. [ male announcer ] it's the at&t network. and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. especially behind the wheel. nothing wrong with that. in fact, allstate gives them a bonus -- twice a year -- for being safe drivers. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
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you heard my message. i indicated at the very beginning that my view is that we should have a president who agrees to the cut, cap and balance of the federal deficit, the federal budget, and that's my position. there are people that are working on it seriously in negotiations right now. i'm not going to comment on the day-to-day negotiating process, but my position is very clear, which is i favor a cut, cap and balanced program for federal spending. >> his position is very clear except on what's going on today. let's bring back our panel. we did a little chart on the boehner plan. the only presidential truly supportive of it is jon huntsman, there are three that are opposed, michele bachmann, tim pawlenty, ron paul, and mitt
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romney and herman cain, would could argue the unclear it's the two businessmen, matea, and maybe they don't take a stand until the very last minute. >> they are not jumping into the debate. romney in particularly is trying to avoid engaging and that's his strategy in this campaign, he's trying to run a rose garden campaign. the other candidates are illuminating about their strategies, michele bachmann, cut, cap and balance, he's the tea party. and huntsman is trying to go the statesmanlike group. >> pawlenty six months ago wouldn't have been opposed right away. >> he wouldn't have been. i was fascinated by what mitt romney said, it sounded so much like when he came out with his defense of his own massachusetts health care bill, you can read anything into that statement just now. >> anything you want. >> yeah, i'm opposed to obama health care, but i'm in favor of romney health care, so it's sort of very similar.
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after this, when this is all said and done, he can say whatever side he was on. >> major, this isn't just a washington debate, though, two leaders went on national television in prime time. the whole country is talking about this. >> absolutely. >> so to not have a position, it seems to be, he has a position, he won't say it. strong front-runners would have said it. he's admitting that he's a nominal front-runner. >> he's acting like it, he's acting like he's a nominal front-runner. he's trying to stay out of the negotiating business. but you would think someone who is positioning himself as someone who has a fundamental sense of the economy would have an opinion about default, about how to avoid default. cut, cap and balance is a position. it's not no position but it's last week's position. cut, cap and balance is not relevant legislatively to unlocking this particular problem. it's loyalty to the tea party of a fashion, but it's not relevant to what's going on right now. and a stronger front runner would place his or her opinion --
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>> on something else. >> more clearly. >> and who knows. shameless plug time. >> we have a fascinating and very important series on about the sineloa drug cartel. >> read national, phi five ways to get on the deal. >> have you read the fabulous memoir of a african-american writer? >> who would that be? that's taking shameless plugs to exactly what they're supposed to be. great panel, great discussion. thank you, here. day one of six, this is it, days, follow it all day long on msnbc. tune in tomorrow on "daily rundown." we'll see you right back here. coming up is "jansing & co.," and then at 1:00, don't miss my friend, "andrea mitchell
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